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Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B Prevention Program

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s Hepatitis B Prevention Program works to address the burden of disease from chronic hepatitis B on Santa Clara County residents. Access our Strategic Plan here

Hepatitis B Prevention and Care

Hepatitis B is a liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis B virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks (acute infection) to a serious, lifelong illness (chronic infection). Hepatitis B can cause cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, or death. There is a safe and effective vaccine to prevent hepatitis B infection.

Hepatitis B can be spread in 3 ways:
  1. BIRTH - Hepatitis B can be spread from a woman with chronic hepatitis B to her child at birth.
  2. BLOOD - Hepatitis B can be spread through direct contact with contaminated blood, including shared needles and syringes.
  3. SEX - Hepatitis B can be spread through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person.
Hepatitis B is NOT spread through sharing food and water, sharing eating utensils, coughing, sneezing, hugging or kissing.
Most people with chronic hepatitis B infection appear healthy and do not exhibit any symptoms. You can take a short health assessment created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to see if you are at risk for chronic hepatitis B infection. The only way to diagnose hepatitis B is by a blood test. If you are at risk for chronic hepatitis B and you have not already been tested, ask your doctor for a one-time blood test to see if you are infected. If you are not infected, the 3-shot hepatitis B vaccine series will protect you for life. If you are already infected, talk to your doctor about how to monitor your health and options for treatment. Not everyone with chronic hepatitis B will need treatment.


Hepatitis B Vaccination and Screening

Under the Affordable Care Act, hepatitis B screening and vaccination are covered without cost-sharing under most insurance plans. Ask your doctor about a hepatitis B test.
If you do not have insurance, you can contact the following clinics to ask about free or low-cost screening:

Pacific Free Clinic
1835 Cunningham Ave.
San Jose, CA 95122 
Phone: (650)721-2786

North East Medical Services
1715 Lundy Avenue
San Jose, CA 95131
Phone: (408)573-9686

El Camino Hospital
Registration is required
Phone: (650) 988-3234
Last updated: 8/24/2017 12:42 PM